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The other day I had my “senior” singing class.  In case you aren’t up to speed, I accidentally signed up for an emeritus class (55 and older).  I’m not quite there, but close enough, I guess.

I have come to really appreciate every single soul in this class.  And the instructor, a well seasoned, light hearted man, is at the helm of the class, making every moment and every note count.

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again.  Life is a journey.  What I get from sharing all my ‘indescretions’ is a hundred fold back in understanding that none of us are EVER alone!!

In every singing class, we start with warmups, our fabulous teacher, with his well-honed ear, guiding us toward the light of perfection … which, of course, is a fallacy.  We can only do our very best on any given day.

That said, I’m constantly in awe at how he can pick out any indelicacies in sound and be able to correct it in a group of so many!  What a gift!!

In every class, we have the opportunity to go up and sing one of the songs from the selection he has chosen for the semester.  And they are NOT easy songs.  They are songs chosen based on their complicated offerings, thereby forcing the singer to reach to new levels.

THIS ALONE makes it hard to find courage to go up each week to “give it a go!”.  But alas, the few and the brave (or the fearful and striving) pull it together to jump forward, for the chance at scrutiny, and improvement.

Many of the students are in Choral, or Choirs.  I’m in neither.  So I assume, those out there, “doing it” are way better off than me!  But this week I realized…that’s not always the case.

I’m going back to my third paragraph… “life is a journey”.  We are all lost, on some level, and working toward a better future (hopefully ALWAYS).

In class this week, a sweet lady went up to sing.  She had a beautiful voice, but seemed to be holding back a bit.  I have found that MOST of these amazing people have … well… SKILLZ so to speak (yes,  I know that isn’t the proper spelling. Just trying to be current! LOL)

While singing, our fabulous instructor helped to pull more out of her.  But she spoke to my soul when she disclosed how hard it was to be up there in front of everyone.  She admitted it was easier to be buried in Choral, than to stand alone in front of everyone.

…….I fell in love RIGHT THERE!!!!

I simply cannot tell you just HOW comforting it is to know, that a woman who has experience in music, sings in groups, struggles with solo presentation. And at the same time, I was a bit sad.  And yet comforted again….

WE ARE NEVER ALONE!!!

I loved this woman’s vulnerability.  Her honesty.

She made me realize that we don’t out grow something unless we practice it on the daily. And even then… there is still fear!

It made me reflect on my own business of photography.  I still stress every time before a shoot.  I don’t want to disappoint my clients, and I want to do my best, creatively, to showcase who they are!  And I learned a long time ago… that I don’t EVER want to lose that fear.  Because if I do, then I become complacent.  And I don’t EVER want to be …. COMPLACENT!!

In our lives, we should always work hard toward being our best selves.  We should never think, “it’s in the bag!”.

I’m thankful to have been around enough to know that I need a plan B in my pocket, ALWAYS!!!

I’ll never forget watching my daughter dance (competitive dancer for many years).  After one of her solo’s I said, “Omg, you were GREAT!”  She said, “No I wasn’t, I screwed up!”  I said, “WHERE?  I didn’t see it??”.  She said, “I was supposed to land a turn, but lost my balance and rolled out of it!”  I started laughing (as I had attended MANY of her solo practices, but they change all the time) and I said, “I didn’t see a single flub!”.

She totally NAILED it and yielded a GREAT score!  Trained people do that!

As a photographer, I have had to roll with the punches MANY times!  Weddings that fall off timeline (like ALWAYS)…lighting that shifts … stage lighting, which is ever-changing, etc….

Life is about rolling with what you have at the time you have it!  The longer I live on this earth, the more I realize that life will NEVER give us what we thought we would have!

If truth be told… I never afforded myself the idea that I would be married with a family and have all the beauty I do now.  So, I just sit back on the daily and am so thankful!

But on this day when my sweet classmate went up to sing and showed us that humanity and vulnerability lasts throughout the ages… she gave me courage to go up and give it a shot!

….and I sucked… (at first anyways).

Fear pulled me in to its little corner and hindered my ability … AGAIN!!!

After my wonderful leader made a light heart of my “rookie”mistakes…he made me take a breath (full well knowing my crippling fear in this ONE area of my life) and push forward.

I’m just going to say… I’m forever grateful to those who help build up day after day after day, even though at times they are weary from the fight!!!

Guiding others is an endless plight.

But finding strength in the masses is such a victory!!

And  to end my little “story”…

One of the songs we are learning is a German Cradle Song.  It’s IN German.  (no pressure).  One of the “students” went up to sing the song.  Like so many of us, nerves got the best, but she was lovely.  She sat down, and the instructor spoke.  Then our lovely German student sang this Cradle song from her seat…as she would sing it at home… the class became quiet.  We watched her as she sang, in perfect German, not a sound in the room.  My eyes were upon her as if my own grandmother was singing me this song… only, I didn’t have any grandmothers to sing to me… so my eyes filled with tears.  I had no idea what she was singing, but the inflection was in her eyes, in her tone….I was a captive audience along with the others.  When she was done, everyone clapped (I sniffled and wiped tears).

She said, “That’s it.  Next time I just sing from my seat!”

She is 93 years old.

You NEVER stop growing and pushing yourself.

I’m going to get a tissue now….